Saudi Cash Scrutinized by U.S. for Terror Ties

(Los Angeles Times) - U.S. counter-terrorism officials are quietly investigating whether funds disbursed by the Riyadh government have helped finance the spread of international terrorism, tracing as much as $4 billion a year that the Saudi government has spent worldwide, partly in an effort to gain support for its strict brand of conservative Islam, known as Wahhabism. FBI and Treasury Department agents are focusing on tracking as much as $300 million a year in Saudi funds disbursed through the kingdom's embassy in Washington and regional consulates, as well as through Riyadh-sponsored charities. Overseas, the CIA and National Security Agency are pursuing far larger sums of money that the Saudi government has spent on thousands of Wahhabi projects around the world. The probe marks the first time U.S. law enforcement officials are investigating the actions and expenditures of the Saudi government itself.

2003-11-17 00:00:00

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